In Trujillo, Peru, where incident radiation on the horizontal surfaces can reach 2000 kWh/m2 annually, the importance of shaded surfaces to provide high quality outdoor spaces is undeniable. The role of trees in urban environments is not only limited to landscaping, they contribute as well to urban quality and outdoor comfort in public spaces. However, Trujillo possesses only 2.1 m2 of green area per habitant, 6.9 m2 less than what the World Health Organization recommends. These facts suggest the need of trees in Trujillo to improve its urban quality.
Unfortunately, growing trees in urban environments is a challenge due to the immediate shock they suffer when transplanted into the city causing stunted growth and low resilience to stress factors such as pollution, harsh climate and vandalism.
The a34unm projects aims to equip public spaces with a temporary structure that emulates the benefits of a grown tree starting from the day it is installed, and at the same time protects a young tree in its core. When the tree is fully grown, and it naturally provides shade, the structure can be relocated to support another growing tree.
To shape the structure, the Delonix Reggia tree species is chosen, due to its typical T shape and fast growing-rate. The waffle structural system allows space for modular shading panels, free airflow, and easy assembly and reproduction. Recycled wood formwork form concrete casting is used for the structure to reduce construction waste, and totora straw, a local organic material, for the shading panels. As radiation along the year is variable, the totora straw modular shading panels are operable, blocking solar radiation in summer and letting it in during the winter.
The a34unm project intends to be a means of creating awareness of the benefits of a tree in an urban environment. Also, it is a social project that encourages citizens to actively participate in the growth of urban trees.
Mentor: Michelle Hur
Elmer Gutierrez Gutierrez – Peru
Elmer holds a Master in Architecture and Sustainability of the Universidad Ricardo Palma, Trujillo, Peru. He has almost four years of work experience since graduating and has held various prositions related to design and innovation. Elmer is interested in urban and architectural photography, travelling and technology.